CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Josh Nork is your typical teenager with a passion and dedication for basketball but his story full of challenges makes him nothing less than unique. When he was 17, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
"I knew that if I wanted to get more opportunities for college evaluations. I knew I couldn't tell them what was wrong with me because I would be sideline," Josh Nork said.
But he did tell.
Josh's father Bill Nork tells FOX 46 Charlotte he was scared when he heard the news.
"Actually the first thing his older brother said, 'dad he'll never play basketball again.' You lose so much weight. It's his senior year. That’s when colleges look at you," Bill Nork said.
But if that wasn't enough, Josh was born in Romania and given up for adoption as a baby. He spent the first two years of his life tied to a bed because of overcrowding in the orphanages.
"He didn't have a block to play with, he didn't have a puzzle, he didn't have a mobile. He didn't have any of that. So his hand eye coordination, all of that, all he had was his energy," Bill Nork said.
The cancer was just another blow, the treatment left him weak, but his coach and teammates saved his spot for when he was ready to come back. Through his teammates and basketball he found a cure that was positive energy.
Without basketball Josh says he wouldn’t have had the mental strength to fight cancer.
"Makes you focus not primarily on yourself but a team aspect. It's something that builds other people up and can also teach you a lot about life," Josh Nork said.
He's been cancer free for almost a year now but he is still using his battle against cancer to help others.
"How can I help others? You aren't actually focusing on what is actually happening to yourself. You are actually focusing on how I can be an inspiration to someone else," Josh Nork said.